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Stewart in Leg-irons; the latest victory in the war on terror

By Mike Whitney

10/17/06 "Information Clearing House" -- -- “She has represented the poor, the disadvantaged and the unpopular….It is no exaggeration to say that Ms. Stewart performed a public service not only to her clients but her nation.” Judge John G. Koeltl; Federal District Court, Manhattan, NY

So far, Bush’s only triumph in his muddled war on terror has been locking up the two Stewart Sisters, Lynne and Martha. (They’re not really sisters) Neither posed any threat to national security, but that’s beside the point. Their arrest sends a chilling message to “home-decoration mavens” and 67 year old cancer patients that they’d better “watch their step” or they’ll find themselves in prison-pinstripes.

Do Americans really see how crazy this is or have we been so subsumed in “terror-hysteria” that we’ve lost our sense of humor altogether?

Consider this: while attorney Stewart is tottering off to prison for defending a “blind Sheik”, a tan and rested Bin Laden is somewhere in the Pakistan-outback working on golf swing and his memoirs?

Does that make any sense?

Only if the real objective is to intimidate lawyers who defend unpopular clients rather than nailing terrorists.

Bush’s contempt for leftists far exceeds his dubious desire to rid the world of terrorism. That’s why the country’s energies are so misdirected and doomed to failure.

Sure, his cohorts, the uber-nationalists, eat-it-up. That’s why the right-wing blogs are all atwitter with the news of Bush’s “Big Catch” in the GWOT. According to the loonies on the right, “Terrorist Kingpin” Stewart is guilty of everything except steering the planes into the buildings.

Pathetic.

Bilious Bill O’ Reilly and his ilk will probably follow up with their typical scathing attack on civil liberties organizations, those pedophile-defending Stalinist pornographers. If we took O’Reilly’s advice we’d empty Guantanamo right now to make room for any card-carrying member of the ACLU. The only way to keep America free is by eliminating the people who defend freedom.

How logical is that?

Imagine if we really took terrorism seriously? What if we withdrew the troops from Iraq and Afghanistan, shut down Bush’s gulag in Guantanamo, stopped killing Arabs in their own countries, and recognized that “Islamo-fascism” is a clever public-relations buzzword intended to incite hatred of Muslims?

How long would it be before the “global threat of terrorism” would shrivel and die on the vine?

Three weeks ago, the National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) was leaked to the New York Times. The report laid out the findings of the 16 American intelligence agencies, which “unanimously” agreed that Iraq was producing a new generation of terrorists and making the American people “less safe”.

What a surprise.

Lynne Stewart’s name was not in the report, but George Bush’s featured rather prominently. Bush has incited more terrorism than any person in the grim history of the planet, and now, the 16 preeminent intel-agencies have confirmed that very point.

If we’re serious about terrorism, we have to do something about the people who are creating it; Bush and Cheney. 5 years after 9-11, it’s not enough to say “At least we got Martha Stewart and her 67-year old namesake off the streets.”

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